Visual Studio Build is failing with "node.exe exited with code 134"

Well this was a nasty little rabbit hole.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2019\Community\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\NodeJS\node.exe" exited with code 134

And we found more detail that pointed to Microsoft.TypeScript.MSBuild.4.1.4/tools/Microsoft.TypeScript.targets line 551

And on investigation, that part of the Microsoft.TypeScript.targets file was concerned with using node to compile typescript.

A team member somehow reasoned that node.exe was running out of memory when compiling, so we set the environment variable:


...and not by specifying it on a command line anywhere, but by literally setting the windows environment variables for that user on that machine.

I expected to see this error again and learn more about getting it to give better clues that let us fix it in a targeted way.